Sunday, November 27, 2016

The joys of being a generalist

I've never been very good at restricting myself to any single discipline. Maybe that word 'discipline' still carries too many negative connotations. Or maybe I simply prefer to live a free-range sort of life.

One way this open-ended set of interests pays off is that it's nearly impossible to be bored. And since I've come home from my retreat, with all the levels of catch-up that;s entailed, the days certainly been filled in an almost wild range of ways.

Thursday night was another in our local literary series, Readings by the Salish Sea, with the distinguished guest Anosh Irani reading from his latest novel, The Parcel.

The book is no easy read. Not because the writing is difficult to understand. If anything, the scenes he creates are all too clear. But the unpleasantness of 'breaking in' a young girl to a life of prostitution is distasteful, to be sure. Still, it's writing that's brave and, despite the topic, beautiful.

In addition to reading, he was generous in answering questions from the audience.

If you're wondering why there are paintings behind him, it's because the event was held in a gallery, one currently featuring the work of Vojislav Morosan, an artist who meticulously documented so many local scenes. Considering how fast so many of these vistas are changing (thank you, high-rise developers), it's a good thing we have these paintings as reminders.

As for the rest of the weekend, it's been another fit-for-a-generalist mix, one that included a visit to the megalithic Cineplex in Langley. Despite the fact that I'm a Harry Potter fan -- I own (and have read) all of the books and have seen all the films, more than once -- the newest offering from J.K. Rowling was a letdown. Even Eddie Redmayne seemed flat in his role as the admittedly somewhat-wimpy character he played. From minute to minute, I wasn't sure whether he was going to transform into the Danish Girl or maybe Stephen Hawking.

I'll admit that part of last night's entertainment, Bad Grandpa, was quite a few notches lower, though I'll also admit that I laughed so  hard I cried.

When a show comes on with this many warnings, you know there's bound to be more than a few politically-incorrect elements.

As for today, I'm doing yet another two very different things.

First, I'm heading to a pottery show, where I'm hoping I might find a special something as a Christmas gift. After that I'm joining (at half-time) a group of friends who still celebrate the Grey Cup.

And if all of this doesn't qualify me as a generalist, I don't know what might.

This unwillingness to declare a pigeon-holed category of interest once cost me a pretty decent book reviewing gig. But do I have regrets over that? Not a chance, especially as once that editor changed, I was back on the roster.

Even my degree attests to who I am: Bachelor of General Studies. For now at least, curiosity remains my guiding star.

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